Geerhardus Vos lived from 1862-1949. He taught systematic theology at the Theological School of the Christian Reformed Church, later called Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1888-1893 before becoming the chair of biblical theology at Princeton Seminary in the fall of 1893.
Published originally in Dutch as Dogmatiek in 1896, Reformed Dogmatics by Geerhardus Vos is now available in English due to the translation and editorial work of a number of people, most notably Richard Gaffin. This project will eventually be available in print from Lexham Press, the print house for Faithlife, the parent company of Logos Bible Software. Meanwhile, Logos users may purchase the digital collection of Reformed Dogmatics for their Logos library here for a fair offering. Only the first three volume are currently available. Those who purchase the five volume set of Reformed Dogmatics will receive volume four and five automatically in their Logos library as those volumes release.
From Richard Gaffin’s preface:
The Reformed Dogmatics of Gerhard’s Vos (1862-1949), here appearing for the first time in English, is a welcome publication for anyone wishing to benefit from uniformly sound and often penetrating articulation of biblical doctrine. It will be of particular interest to those who are already familiar with the work of Vos — the father of a Reformed biblical theology. Few, if any, among them have not experience a growing appreciation of his profound and singular insights into Scripture.
Some might ask what one might learn from Vos that one might not from Bavinck, or, perhaps, how might Bavinck’s systematic theology have had a bearing on Vos? Gaffin, anticipating these questions, says in the preface:
The appearance of the Reformed Dogmatics will disclose substantial affinity with the Reformed Dogmatics of Herman Bavinck. This is to be expected, since the slightly younger Vos (by seven years) considered Bavinck a good friend as well as a close theological ally. The first volume of Bavinck’s work (in Dutch), however, did not appear until 1895, after Vos’ Grand Rapids period. Perhaps the later volumes of the Reformed Dogmatics will shed more light on the question of the influences on Vos’ work.
Over the past month I’ve had sufficient time to work with the first three volumes and glean from them. Vos’s Reformed Dogmatics is exceptional. His line of thinking stems from a profound grasp on logic that is systematically deployed to unfold the riches of God’s revelation. This skill of logic I sense is lost, or minimally rare, in present approaches of delivering systematic theology.
As a reader of this set, I can almost imagine Vos in the classroom posing questions like: “In what way must proof for the Trinity be provided from the New Testament?” (i.3.3) or “Can one prove from the Scripture that the Mediator is truly God?” (iii.3.4). I imagine students painstakingly wrestling with these questions until Vos kindly and mercifully supplies the responses to these questions, responses that he has carefully worked out and corroborated with Scripture and reason.
This set is surely a diamond that has been cleaned and cut by the skillful hands of Richard Gaffin. If you’ve read and been impacted by Vos’s acclaimed Biblical Theology, then you will want to have this set of Reformed Dogmatics sitting alongside your volume of Biblical Theology.
Logos has put together this informative video on Vos and this systematic theology. You may view this video below.